Thanks to his skills and those of his team-mates, Fiji won its enduring reputation for rugby flair, passion, bravery against all the odds, and enjoyment, constantly bringing important smiles to the faces of fans worldwide.
Tikoisiva won his first Test cap in 1968 against Tonga.
At age 21, the selectors had decided Tikoisuva was too young for Test rugby, and they omitted from the first Test of the series. But after Tonga won 8-6, the promising star was quickly added to the side, and Fiji went on to win the series with a 12-10 victory in Lautoka and a 13-9 win in Suva.
The 1970 Fiji side then blazed a standard of rugby that turned the game on its head in England. After a lengthy tour to New Zealand, where Tikoisuva played in the 9-9 draw with the Maoris, Fiji met teams from England for the first time in a 13-match tour that was extended to 14 to allow a match against Wales U25.
After a less than spectacular opening few matches, Fiji were honoured to play the famous Barbarians, a team that included such great names as JPR Williams, Gareth Edwards and David Duckhams. It was equivalent to Fiji playing the British and Irish Lions on their own turf.
Held at Gosforth, everyone expected the Baa-baas to run out easy winners, but the who’s-who of British rugby proved powerless to contain an inspired and passionate Fiji team whose searing and unconventional style of play won enthusiastic support.
Tikoisuva’s eye-catching form on the wing in 13 of the 14 matches opened the doors to the fabled Harlequins club when he moved to London in 1974 for a three-year printing course.
While continuing to earn rave reviews in the media with the Mighty Quins, he won three invitations to play for the Barbarians themselves–against Leicester, East Midlands and France.
Yet greater things were still to come for Tikoisuva.
On his return to Fiji in 1977, the utility back of renowned strength and speed, skippered the national team first to a 3-0 series win over Tonga, then to a 25-21 win over the British Lions, probably Fiji’s greatest-ever victory on a rugby field.
Playing on the hot, hard Buckhurst Park in Suva, Tikoisuva and his charges left the 20,000 fans agape as they overwhelmed the cream of British rugby with a running game that Lions coach John Dawes described simply as a "magnificent performance."
A year later, Tikoisuva became manager and coach of the Fiji team to the Hong Kong 7s, where Fiji won for the second time in a row.
Pio Bosco Tikoisuva retired from international rugby in 1979, playing his last match for Fiji against England in Suva, but continued to play for his beloved St John Marist team until the mid-1980s.
Perhaps the moving words in a poem written by an ardent Harlequins fan describes him at his best:
His eyes are bright, his hands stick fast and his feet go quick, quick, slow. I can’t call him King because of Barry John, so I’ll call him Emperor Bosco. His sunshine play lights up many a day, this Emperor with toothpaste smile. He’s a big man, but small; fair, but dark; the man from the Friendly Isles.
With rugby so much a part of his life, it was no wonder that he would eventually convert his role of player to administrator, and in December 2001 he was appointed the first professional CEO of the Fiji Rugby Union.
In March 2008, Bosco was appointed as His Excellency The High Commissioner for Fiji in London.